A workshop entitled “Needs Unmet” was conducted by Miss Tatiana Toutikian, collaborative designer who works in the field of research and design interactions and who has a background in interior architecture and product design. Miss Toutikian holds a Master Degree in Industrial and Collaborative Design from Aalto University in Helsinky.
The workshop conducted at AUST is part of a Speculative Design Hackathon. The outcome of the Hackathon will be showcased as a curated exhibition at KED, the main exhibition space in Beirut Design Week, and will have international press coverage it. Beirut Design Week, established in 2012, is a growing design festival in the region. Bringing together more than 25,000 visitors at over 150 events in various locations around Beirut, BDW, now in its sixth consecutive year, showcases the best of Lebanese and international design. The main goal of Beirut Design Week is to encourage intercultural exchange, design education, social impact, and design entrepreneurship. It is initiated and organized by the MENA Design Research Center, a non-profit organization, which focuses on promoting a diverse understanding of design in the region through collaborative multidisciplinary projects and rigorous design research. This is a great opportunity for AUST design students who participated in the workshop as their work will be exhibited during the event. Secondly, it will be included in a publication by the MENA Design Research Center.
Speculative and Critical design, that is also the theme of this year’s conference in Beirut Design Week, considers design as a tool for provocation and creative desired futures through fiction and stories. It is about discovering future trends and trying to follow the trajectory that technology and social development take, and seeing how they will become in the future in order to design products and spaces accordingly. The conducted workshop, ‘Needs Unmet’, tackled the humans’ overlooked emotions in a technocratic future. Technology has only pushed humans to recluse and loneliness as it cashes in on their fabricated promises of happiness and self progress. How do we design for these overlooked emotions? Three main categories were identified: the need to be touched, the need to be invited, and the need to be remembered. Furthermore, the participants were asked during the workshop to design products that address the following themes: alternative energy resources, cyborg nation, digital addictions, digital shrines, hacking the government, mutations, and need for privacy.
This workshop prompted Arts and Design students to design artifacts and prototypes tackling the aforementioned themes, and exposed them to a new field of design that opens new horizons both academically and professionally.